Suspected thief arraigned for breaking police cell

After two attempts, a suspected thief, Joseph Edeth, succeeded in fleeing from a police cell in Lagos. learnt that Edeth had been arrested by the police from the Taqwabay division for allegedly stealing a Techno iPad valued at N70,000, owned by one Tony Matthew.

It was said Edeth and Matthew had attended a night party in the Taqwabay area of the state.

Our correspondent gathered that Matthew left the party around 2am for his residence in the community.

Edeth reportedly followed and waylaid him a few metres from the venue, dispossessing him of the iPad.

He was said to have been arrested that night and taken to the police station.

“While he was being interrogated at the station, he ran away from the investigator, but he was caught.

“He later broke the ceiling of the cell where he was kept in an attempt to escape, but failed again. He later broke the cell door and fled around 5am.

“He was given a chase and with the help of the residents, he was rearrested. He snatched the iPad from the complainant while he (Matthew) was returning home from a party around 2am on December 13, 2017,” a policeman told our correspondent.

Edeth was arraigned before a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court on three counts of stealing, escape from custody and unlawful damage.

The police prosecutor, ASP Richard Odigie, told the court that the alleged offence contravened sections 106(a), 289 and 350 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.

The charges read in part, “That you, Joseph Edeth, on December 13, 2017, at Taqwabay, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did steal one Techno iPad valued at N70,000, property of one Tony Matthew of Beach Waterside, Takwabay, Lagos.

“That you, on the same date time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did escape from lawful custody by forcing the cell open.

“That you on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did damage the Nigeria Police Takwabay cell, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 350, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty and the presiding magistrate, Mrs. F.O. Ikobayo, granted him bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum while the case was adjourned.

When the case came up last Tuesday, the complainant, Matthew, tendered an application to withdraw the matter. The magistrate accordingly struck out the case.

Matthew was also said to have repaired the damaged police cell.